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Oct 2, 2007 10:21 PM

food network: gourmet next door promo

ok, so i just saw it for the first time.


apparently no one told the marketing geniuses responsible for this tvfn gem that the purpose of a promo is to make people WANT to watch a show. based on that 15-second spot, all i can think is, who needs ambien or lunesta? just tune in when the show airs, and you should be sleeping like a baby in no time...

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  1. Just saw it- wow, I'm really excited...

    1. I saw the promo today as well, and I thought, "This sounds like every other FN cooking show." I don't know how much differentiation there will be between her show and others. (Excepting Good Eats, Iron Chef, et al.)

      1. I also noticed that her "prime debut" is at 1pm or something like that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth

          <I also noticed that her "prime debut" is at 1pm or something like that.> Maybe that's prime time for the food network? The Hearty Boys' show was on at 9:30 Sunday mornings! (For those who don't remember, they were the winners of the first Food Network Star show)

          1. re: ChefJune

            funny, ChefJune!
            i saw the promo, and suspect that will be the extent of my exposure to her. just don't get it!

        2. I had the same reaction...bland show. But thought I was just being overly critical because I didn't care for her on TNFNS. Did think it was funny that she was given the highly sought after 1pm Sunday time slot.

          1. The first full show is already up and playing on On Demand (for those who have it). It's not great but surprisingly it's not god-awful. AF makes a couple of things that would be far too challenging for the Frankenmoms... and then a couple of things that are maybe a little too pedestrian. Theme is French Bistro; menu is cheese puffs, stovetop potatoes, flank steak in a (kind of) red wine sauce, and profiteroles. Upside: pate choux is usually a little ambitious for TV chefs, and splitting a batch to make both app and dessert for the same meal was a nice idea. Downsides mostly concerned the concept, issues that were prominently raised in TNFNS, to wit:
            The very first words she utters on-air (kid you not) are "When I lived in France...." Ugh. The "bistro-this, bistro-that" only compounds the pretense.
            Okay to mention cooking for hubby, but doing it three times in the same segment sounds like... I don't know. Pandering, gloating, time-wasting, whatever.
            The very last words she utters are (this is almost verbatim), "The next time you need some inspiration, pay a visit to the gourmet next store." Labelling oneself a "gourmet" is bad enough, but making these your last words sounds like you're insisting-- when, in truth, half the stuff she made (potatoes, flank steak) was idiot-simple. Without going into technique issues, the "gourmet" thing really sticks in my craw because it assumes she's more skillful and knowledgeable than all her watchers, which is pretty clearly not the case. Producers should take care not to insist too much. Have to say, however, that AF does seem far more comfortable on-camera than she did on TNFNS. And-- big plus-- she only uses two pre-made ingredients, the ice cream and chocolate sauce for the profiteroles. Which I guess is better than most of the current TFN pseudo-cooks.

            13 Replies
            1. re: alias wade

              i also wouldn't presume that most people who watch are chowhounds. truly. some of the LEAST chowhoundy people i know (i've seen what they eat and cook and where they like to go) never cease to amaze me by telling me how much they love Food Network and then they tell me which shows they like and it's usually ones I don't. Actually I like very few of the shows but I do like Ina Garten's recipes. Some are really simple but they taste good.
              So she may be gourmet - and so may be that meal - to many of the viewers. Not that your comments don't sound like they're playing up the things I found annoying about her. But in the few episodes I watched I still think she was the best contestant.

              1. re: AMFM

                What's your definition of gourmet? Why doesn't she qualify? I haven't seen the show yet but just wondering.

                1. re: southernitalian

                  i could be wrong, but i'm guessing AF herself chose that particular title/moniker because she believes her target audience probably equates "french" with "gourmet."

                  btw, does anyone else think it's strange that the show is already available "on demand" before it even officially airs on network tv? sort of the equivalent of releasing a film on DVD before it opens in theaters. odd.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Not really, more and more networks are doing this with new shows to try and grow their audiences and create a buzz.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yea it's the same reason they put them up on their websites for free download before they premiere too.

                        1. re: krez

                          it just strikes me as rather counterproductive if they're concerned about traditional "ratings" [i.e. nielsen]. i don't believe they can necessarily track the on-demand viewings from the various cable providers across the nation, or the free downloads/views on the web. so it would seem to me that their data might be skewed.

                          it doesn't be perfectly honest i just don't care about this show. i won't be watching it on demand, on the web OR on tvfn.

                          to each his own.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Actually, it's probably easier to track downloads and on demand than going through Nielsen. You know exactly how many people have expressed interest, as opposed to following trends of a select few viewers with a Nielsen box.

              2. re: alias wade

                I saw the promo the other day, ditto on the yawn.

                Thanks for letting us know about the preview on on demand, AW- i hated her when I would watch TNFNS because of her pretenscious attitude- 'When I was in France', 'gourmet-this', 'gourmet-that', etc. I liked reading your review. If i am home on sunday around that time, maybe I will tune in.

                1. re: teamuse

                  Meh. Ina Garten did a whole show about being in France. Rachael Ray is always talking about traveling to Italy. FN hosts have different experiences than some people. Hypothetically that should make them more interesting. I am tired of this idea that FN executives have the "real" people are threatened or hold in contempt anyone with professional expertise or any sort of travel or other luxury experience.

                  1. re: Avalondaughter

                    Right. It's one thing if your real next-door neighbor is always talking about their travels when you've never been anywhere. But a TV show has the potential to open up your world and help you find something new. And how to get a little taste of Paris here in my suburban home is a little more practical than how to get by in Paris on $40/day -- if/when I get back to Paris, I'm not going to be worrying about my food budget ;-) I already exchange recipes with my local buddies -- but it was very cool when my friend who had actually traveled in Ethiopia took us to an Ethiopian restaurant. Teach me something I don't already know!

                2. re: alias wade

                  The phrase "Gourmet Next Door" makes me think of the person who brings any meat cooked in wine to the potluck or to the family who just had a baby, when everyone else is bringing mac and cheese, lasagna, canned-soup casseroles, or take-out chicken. She knows she's not gourmet in a Michelin-star sense, but the other neighborhood moms call her that 'cause she's actually a decent home cook. I think there's some potential there.

                  1. re: momjamin

                    The problem I always had with her "Gourmet Next Door" concept is: I don't care whether my neighbor is a gourmet or not. It's supposed to sound friendly and approachable, I guess, but it comes across kind of pretentious in a "know it all" sort of " way.